The Internet, new technology, social media, meeting apps are all here under the guise of helping us connect… but do they, really?
Why introduce yourself when you’re at the grocery story when you can match with someone on Tinder? Why give someone your undivided attention when you can check emails simultaneously? Why pick up your titanium ballpoint pen when you can write in Notes?
Sure, one could argue that convenience is key, but at what point do the sacrifices outweigh the benefits? Let’s dive in…
It makes you feel isolated: Studies show that those who spend over 30-minutes per day on social media feel lonelier than those who spend less than 30-minutes per day. When you spend a significant amount of time scrolling through your apps, immersing yourself in other’s lives, you eventually must come up for air, and realize that suddenly, your own space feels emptier. Monitor your intake, and cut it down when necessary. Even replacing your scrolling with texting a friend can make a huge difference.
It gives you a false sense of what other’s lives are like: There are all types of people portraying their lives in all types of ways. Some even get paid the big bucks to do it, meaning that even those “real” people who encourage a “healthy mindset,” are only showing you what they want you to see. It’s so easy to feel like everyone else has it made, when really they just know their best angles. A pretty picture or an inspirational quote does not mean that anyone is doing any better than you, and when you’re not careful it’s easy to compare yourself to others and feel inferior as a result.
It takes time away from connecting to those around you: There’s a time and place for multitasking, and it’s usually while you’re at the office (whether literal or otherwise.) When you are together with friends, family and/or loved ones, it’s not only your valuable time being spent, it’s theirs, too. When you don’t give someone your undivided attention while face-to-face, you’re missing out on the opportunity to grow your relationship with that person. Of course, everyone has their own things going on, and if someone has to take the occasional call, then so be it. But, if you’re with someone who’s scrolling through Instagram every time it’s your turn to talk, ditch them, because REAL face time is rare enough, and should be valued accordingly.
It takes time away from connecting to yourself: It’s really nice sometimes to cover up that thing inside that’s been nagging at you by clicking on the TV and seeing who’s online. From one screen to the next, whether you’re at home in bed, or on the go, you can wind up avoiding those unwanted feelings for quite awhile. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly a solution to your problems; you’re just creating distractions. Not giving yourself the opportunity to get quiet with yourself actually takes away your ability to overcome thoughts that are holding you back. If you catch yourself scrolling, put your phone down and literally spend time staring into space and sitting alone with your thoughts.
It becomes a mindless habit you don’t even know you have: It’s as simple as wanting to check the time, then, before you know it an hour has vanished and you find yourself on a scrolling binge that you never intended to go on. I know I’m not alone when I need to do one, small task on my phone, but as soon as I unlock it, I forget what I needed to accomplish and wind up opening several apps unnecessarily. Suddenly, I’m watching Melissa jump off a waterfall in Bali and I’m wondering why I’m still sitting at the office. Simply becoming aware and being honest with yourself about how much time you’ve “accidentally” spent fiddling with your phone is the first step to cutting back.